JonBenet Ramsey murder remains unsolved 17 years later, Police consider it 'cold case'

Boulder girl's body found Dec. 26, 1996

BOULDER, Colo. - Thursday marks 17 years since John and Patsy Ramsey awoke the day after Christmas and found their daughter, 6-year-old JonBenet missing. A ransom note, found inside the house, said the child had been kidnapped. But hours later, the little girl's body was found in the room in the family's basement. She had been strangled.

17 years later, JonBenet's mother is dead. Her father has remarried. And no one has been arrested in her murder.

-- Prosecution unlikely, police say

In October, Boulder Police said prosecution was "unlikely."

Police chief Mark Beckner issued a statement that said the investigation into the murder of the 6-year-old girl was currently considered a cold case.

"The case is still open, but is not actively being investigated and there are no new leads," Beckner said. "While we believe at this point it is unlikely there will ever be a prosecution, the Boulder Police Department still holds out some hope that one day the district attorney and the Boulder Police Department will be able to put together a case worthy of presenting to a jury."

It was also in October that we learned that the Grand Jury that investigated the murder case in 1999 voted to indict her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, on charges of child abuse resulting in death and accessory to a crime. However, the indictment was not accepted by then-District Attorney Alex Hunter because he said he didn't think he could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the parents were guilty.

At the time, Hunter said the grand jury had concluded without finding "sufficient evidence to warrant a filing of charges against anyone." News of the grand jury indictment wasn't revealed until Boulder Daily Camera reporter Charlie Brennan filed a story on its existence earlier this year.

-- DNA testing

Boulder police told 7NEWS that more than 150 DNA samples had been tested in the investigation. More than 140 people had been investigated as potential suspects, but none could be linked to the crime.

In 2008, JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, and JonBenet's brother, Burke, were exonerated by new DNA testing techniques, according to then-District Attorney Mary Lacy.

Lacy said the DNA testing pointed to a stranger.

-- The Ramsey family

Patsy Ramsey died from cancer in 2006, 10 years after her daughter was murdered. She is buried next to her daughter in Georgia, where the Ramseys moved from Boulder.

John Ramsey remarried in 2011 -- five years after Patsy's death.

John Ramsey released a book earlier this year called "The Other Side of Suffering." It recounts how John Ramsey's faith helped him navigate course from suffering to forgiveness, according to ABC News.

Ramsey said he remembers his daughter as a tomboy, who loved to hike and play with her older brother, Burke.

"I see her, you know, in shorts and t-shirt and hair kind of scruffy and just kind of a kid," he said.

JonBenet Ramsey would have been 23 years old.